Already We Stress / by Andrew Fairfield

Dear friends,

It seems astounding that the end of the summer is so close already. For many of us this next week will signal the start of the whirlwind with the start of classes at Virginia Tech; for others, the whirlwind has already been raging a while.

Stress builds up not only because of increased workloads or decreased sleep, but also because of the fear of failure. The miserable fact is that we don’t just stress when we have rough days; we stress in anticipation of rough days.

So as a preemptive antidote to our preemptive stress, I recommend Psalm 138. It’s a full-throated expression of confidence and joy, a reminder to us and a testimony before all the powers and peoples of the world. God is faithful in the tough times, “On the day I called, you answered me, you strengthened my life.”

When we call out to God, we have an opportunity to free ourselves from our narrow and contorted obsessions and look at things with broader perspective. We can put our troubles in context, and remind ourselves that God cares especially about those who suffer the most. “For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.”

So when the bad days come we know that we aren’t abandoned. If we can just raise our heads a little, if we can glimpse the sweep of the stars or hear a snippet of song, we can be reminded of the enduring love of the Creator reflected in all of our lives.

Blessings of serenity in your anticipation,